UAFS given $18.7 million by Windgate to expand nursing, art programs

Dr. Terisa Riley (standing at podium), chancellor of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, announces with help from UAFS cheerleaders on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, a gift of $18.77 million from the Windgate Foundation to the university at a First Friday Breakfast hosted by the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce inside the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center at UAFS in Fort Smith. Riley said roughly $9.9 million of the donation will go toward an expansion of the university’s nursing program, with the remaining $8.8 million going toward an expansion of UAFS Windgate Art and Design. Visit for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)

FORT SMITH -- The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith announced Friday it would use the largest single gift it has received to expand its nursing and art and design programs.

Chancellor Terisa Riley told the crowd during the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce's First Friday Breakfast the Little-Rock based Windgate Foundation gave the university more than $18.7 million for this purpose.

More than $9.9 million will go to hiring 40 faculty members for the nursing program over the course of two phases, according to a Friday news release from the university. It will also be used to pay for a new simulation lab and add both a associate degree of nursing and a registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing school.

The university will use more than $8.8 million to build a 19,876-square-foot addition to its Windgate Art & Design building, which will allow it to expand its art and design courses, according to the release.